So, they’re done. If you listen to the pundits, they’re done as a team as we know them. Big changes seem to be in store for the team in the last 5 Eastern Conference Finals, and 2004 NBA Champion, the Detroit Pistons.
Well…I think they can only go so far without completely blowing everything out of the water. They were exposed for not having enough reliable scorers…and I think they got a little bit out of sorts not following the gameplan thrown out by Flip Saunders…who already has been confirmed to be back.
Here’s who should be back next year:
Chauncey Billups (assuming they resign him)
That’s your core. I think specifically, they need to work on depth more…specifically more for the playoffs than anything. Rip wasn’t enough to carry the load when Chauncey was covered adequately in the Eastern Conference Finals by Larry Hughes, and Tayshaun was a little tired from covering Lebron James.
Carlos Delfino, Jason Maxiell, Antonio McDyess, will be back. Amir Johnson should be able to at least join the rotation somewhat next year. Plus, the Pistons have two picks in the first round this year…they should be able to at least get one rotation player out of those two picks. Flip Murray has said that he’s probably not going to opt out of his contract, and come back…he can play some minutes a situational backup to Chauncey or Rip.
Notice how I haven’t mentioned Sheed yet. My first thought, after thinking about how the Pistons blew up this year was that either Sheed had to go, or the Pistons have to go after a Coach who can control him. Well…Flip is coming back. I think Sheed needs to go. For what in return though?
Some have asked for Zach Randolph. He probably would be easier to control than Sheed. He would stay near the post instead of flaring out to the 3-point line all the time. Course, he’s got 3 additional years than Sheed on his contract…and with Greg Oden coming to
How bout some of these trades for Sheed though:Trade Sheed to
I have a feeling Isiah feels he needs to for sho make the playoffs this year. Sheed would certainly help that, and Frye had fallen out of favor with him.
Trade Sheed and Lindsey Hunter to the Celtics for Al Jefferson and Theo Ratliff.
Trade Hunter and Nazr Mohammed to the Nuggets for Marcus Camby
Hunter would retire and give the Nuggets the cap space. Mohammed could help man the middle, and at about 12 million dollars less over the life of his contract. Camby would help out at the defensive end, but still allow the Pistons to try and run a little bit more.
Trade Sheed and Hunter to the Suns for Shawn Marion
You put Tayshaun, Marion, and Maxiell – McDyess – Mohammed on the front line? That’s a looooong front line. And active. That’d be good stuff. Sheed could help the Suns walk that edge and give them one last shot to get them to the next level.
How about…you take the above trade…and then also this one:
Trade Nazr Mohammed to the
Aldridge showed a lot late in the year, and he can score down low and defend pretty well.
Then go out in free agency, lure Grant Hill for one last run at a minimum deal, and go after another scorer with your mid-level exception.
All things considered…here’s the trades and free agents I would go for the hardest:
Trade Sheed, Nazr, and one of your first round picks for Randolph, and Aldridge. Sign Grant Hill. Pursue Gerald Wallace HARD, with your mid-level. In the event you can’t sign him, grab up Joe Smith or Austin Croshere.
Your next year’s starting five would be:
G – Grant Hill
G – Carlos Delfino
F – Amir Johnson
F – Gerald Wallace or Maxiell
F- Antonio McDyess
You’d get a little younger, and a little better defensively. You’d get more active, and most of all…you’d get more hungry. Which is what was really lacking this year…
Enjoy the Finals.
Spurs in Six!